My first words upon returning to St. Mary’s after my time in Saskatchewan and in Quebec have to be words of acknowledgement and thanksgiving. I have been re-reading the many many cards which I received during the past six months. I am filled with an overwhelming sense of what those cards meant to me when I received them. When you’re confined to a bed, 22 hours out of 24, a simple card makes all the difference in the world. I wish to thank you all for the cards, for the assurance that you were praying for me, for your expressions of concern, for your words of understanding and encouragement, for the gifts and the visits. In a million ways, you have been God’s presence to me. God bless you all for this.
As I had hoped before leaving, I am better now than I was on July 1st. I still have a long way to go to full recovery, but I can begin to resume presiding celebrations. Out of prudence, in the month of August, I will preside one celebration, be it a mass, a wedding, a funeral, or any other type of celebration, per day, and more if I can. We’ll play it by ear. This means that I will be a bit more visible than I have been until now.
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On a different note, you will have noticed scaffolding around the church, last Sunday and today. After 25 years, it’s time to give some attention to our church roof. About a year ago, a very professional and thorough inspection revealed extensive wear and tear on the flat sections of the roof, and much less on the sloped sections. This being the case, we decided to have the flat sections repaired immediately, and come up with a plan as to what our approach will be for repair to the sloped sections, so that when the time comes, we will be prepared. We have been told that this summer’s work will take 3 to 4 weeks, at a cost of $120,000 to the parish. The end-result will be flat sections as good as new.
Many of us have probably exhausted our vacation time, but summer isn’t over. There is still time, even if we are back at work, to “be still and know that God is God,” that he is Emmanuel, God with us, and God for us. To all, a great end of summer.